5 Best Converters to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac and Windows

2019-11-27 10:28:05 / Posted by lily jones to Convert PDF Follow @ lily jones

Here you will find a list of the best tools to convert PDF to CSV on Mac and Windows. Some of them also work great on scanned PDF files.

PDF (Portable Document Format) documents and CSV (Comma Separated Values) spreadsheets are the common types of files we often deal with at work and in life. Sometimes, we need to convert PDF files to CSV format. By doing so, we can extract table from PDF, sort the data and make the data easy to use.

My bank only exports PDFs of my bank statements. I have a lot of expenses to log from the last year. What's the best way to import in to desktop QuickBooks? ― A question from the QuickBooks Community

In such a case, one solution is to convert PDF to CSV, which will make the import possible and easy to do.

#1 PDF Converter with OCR – Convert any PDF to CSV

Support OS: OS X 10.10 or later, including macOS 10.15 Catalina

To quickly convert PDF to CSV on Mac, you can use professional software like Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR. It works offline and provides safe, reliable, easy and customizable PDF conversion.

Pros

  • Easy to use with simple, intuitive interface
  • Work on both native and scanned/image-based PDFs
  • Provide highly accurate conversion
  • Batch convert PDF to CSV with high speed
  • Convert PDFs and images to searchable PDF, Word, PPT, HTML and 12 other formats
  • Allow you to convert all or selected pages of multi-page PDFs to CSV and more
  • Come with a powerful OCR feature
  • Keep the formatting, hyperlinks and other information of the source PDF

Cons

  • Not compatible with macOS versions prior to OS X 10.10

Free Download

Convert PDF to CSV on Mac in 4 easy steps

Step 1. Download and install this PDF to CSV converter for Mac. Launch it. Drag one or more PDF files into the app.

add PDF file to convert

Step 2. Click the output format dropdown list and select to EXCEL.

choose output format

Tip: By default, the tool will change all pages of a PDF to the output format of your choice. To turn selected pages of a multi-page PDF into CSV, select Range, specify a page range and hit the Return/Enter key. For example, if only the first 10 pages of a 100-page PDF contain the tables you need, you can enter the page range of 1-10. It will reduce the conversion time.

Step 3. Click the Convert button in the bottom right corner.

Step 4. Now open the Excel file in Microsoft Excel (or LibreOffice, Google Sheets or others). Go to File > Save As. Choose CSV as the output format. Click Save.

Pro tips

When converting scanned PDF to CSV, you can follow the tips below.

  • Make sure the OCR feature is enabled. (OCR is turned on by default.)
  • If need, choose an OCR language or a combination of languages. The default OCR language is English.available languages
  • To customize the conversion of PDF to CSV and get a more desirable result, click the Advanced Settings button. Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR can automatically and accurately detect and select tables, text and images in PDF. You are able to remove, redo and adjust the auto selections. To remove, select an auto selection and hit the Delete key. To adjust borders, place your mouse pointer on a border and drag the border. To re-select, use the OCR Applied Zone tools in the toolbar.advanced settings

#2 Tabula – Free and open-source (but can’t work on scanned PDFs)

Support OS: Windows, macOS

If you are looking for an open-source PDF to CSV converter, then Tabula is worth checking out. You can view the source on GitHub. Note that Windows users need to install the latest version of Java in order to install this app.

Pros

  • Free and open-source
  • Do a good job of converting text-based, searchable PDF files
  • Also provide other export formats like TSV and Script
  • Offer features like Auto Detect and Preview

Cons

  • Can’t work with scanned PDF files
  • Require java installation

Step 1. Open Tabula. It will run in a browser window. Click the Browse button, select a PDF and click Open. Click Import.

import PDFs

Step 2. Once your PDF is loaded, it’s ready for data extraction. Click the Autodetect Tables button, and the app will automatically detect and select all the tables in your document.

auto detect tables in PDF

You can also delete or do the selection by hand. Click and drag to draw a box around the table you want to extract to CSV.

Step 3. Before you convert PDF to CSV on Mac or PC, you can click the Preview & Export Extracted Data button to preview the data.

Step 4. Click the Export Format dropdown list and choose CSV.

select CSV

Step 5. Click the Export button. It will start downloading the CSV file to your computer.

Pro tip

When you convert multiple PDF tables to CSV, here is a tip that may help. Suppose there are multiple tables in a multi-page PDF and the tables you need take the same or very similar formatting. Click and drag a box around the first table you want to extract, and the Repeat this Selection button will pop up. Once you click the button, it will select all the similar tables in the PDF. This way, you can extract them all in one go.

Repeat this Selection


#3 Adobe Acrobat - Excellent and expensive

Support OS: Windows, macOS

When it comes to PDF conversion and manipulation, Adobe Acrobat is of course a great choice. The only downside is that it’s expensive. If you already have it installed, you can convert PDF to CSV on Mac or Windows PC with super ease.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Change all PDFs, including the scanned ones, to CSV format
  • Allow you to convert selected table(s) or an entire PDF to spreadsheet
  • Offer an array of advanced settings options to customize conversion
  • Provide other export formats
  • Provide other features like PDF Creation, Split, Merge, Edit, Sign and more

Cons

  • Costly

To convert a selected PDF table to CSV

Step 1. In Adobe Acrobat, open a PDF that contains a table.

Step 2. Click the selection tool (cursor icon) from the toolbar. Click and drag from the top left corner of the table and select all the information in the table.

Step 3. Right-click the information and choose Export Selection As.

export selection as

In the dialog box that appears, select a location on your computer to save the CSV file. Click the Save as type dropdown list and select Comma Separated Values (*.csv).

Save as type

Step 4. Click the Save button.

To convert an entire PDF to CSV

Step 1. Select File > Export To > Spreadsheet > Microsoft Excel Workbook.

export PDF to Microsoft Excel Workbook

Step 2. In the dialog box that appears, select CSV as the export format.

Step 3. This step is optional. Click the Settings button in the lower left part of the dialog box, which will open the Save As XLSX Settings window. Select the desired options based on your need. If it's a scanned PDF, make sure you select the checkbox before Recognize text if needed, which will perform OCR on the scanned document.

Save As XLSX Settings window

Step 4. Click Save.


#4 iLovePDF – Convert PDF to CSV online for free

It’s also possible to convert PDF file to CSV online for free. There are a lot of online services that can do the conversion. Online apps have the following advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Free to use and easily accessible
  • Work on various platforms and devices
  • Require no software installation
  • Require no software installation Provide decent conversion result
  • Support other common formats as export formats

Cons

  • Not suitable for PDFs containing sensitive or confidential information
  • Relatively slow
  • No support for image-based or scanned documents
  • Limited free use

With them, you don’t have to download and install anything. Some of them can provide pretty good conversion. Before conversion, you need to upload your PDF to the server of an online service. These services claim that the uploaded and converted files will be deleted from their servers after one hour or two. That being said, it’s recommended to convert confidential, important PDF documents using offline desktop apps.

iLovePDF is one of the best.

Step 1. Go to https://www.ilovepdf.com/pdf_to_excel.

Step 2. Upload a PDF by clicking the Select PDF file button or by dragging and dropping.

upload your PDF file

Step 3. When your document is fully uploaded, click the Convert to Excel button. It will start processing the conversion from PDF to CSV.

Step 4. Once it’s finishes, click the Download Excel button.

Step 5. Now convert Excel into CSV using a tool of your choice.


#5 Zamzar – Another online PDF to CSV converter

There are other web-based PDF converters that you can choose from. Zamzar is one of them. Note that free users can’t upload files that are larger than 1 MB.

Step 1. Go to https://www.zamzar.com/convert/pdf-to-csv/.

Step 2. Click Add Files and select a PDF document to upload.

add files

Step 3. Click Convert Now. Wait for the conversion to complete.

Step 4. After the conversion is completed, you will be presented with a Download button. Click Download.


Conclusion

Above are the common ways and best apps to convert PDF to CSV on Mac and Windows. For an occasional need to transform a text-base PDF file to CSV, online converters can be a good choice. If you are not happy with the result, or you need to do the conversion in a safer manner, you can choose desktop software. To deal with scanned documents, you can use software like Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR.

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